By Alana Ferrone
On Friday, Dec. 2 the Sacred Heart University Dance Program will be putting on their seasonal performance, “Winter Lights,” in the Edgerton Center for the Performing Arts.
Though the dancers in the program may be seasoned veterans, this will be the first for the newest addition to the Dance Program director, Kari Williams.
Williams expressed nothing but her admiration for the dancers she has gotten to work with during rehearsals for this performance.
“To have been welcomed with such thoughtfulness by the entire Performing Arts Department has inspired me to feel that I have found a home here at Sacred Heart University and a family amongst them,” said Williams.
Audiences will see performances by the SHU Dance Company, Dance Ensemble, Ballroom Dance Ensemble, Kickline and Irish Dance Ensemble, also referred to as the Claddagh Dancers.
Student choreographers have become a unique part of the dance program’s productions. In addition to faculty choreographed pieces, students Sabrina Ledo, Maria Konstas, Megan Tottenham and Harshal Varpe will be presenting and performing original pieces.
Maintaining a connection to their alma mater, alumnae Jessica Berard and Elizabeth Fleitas are two special guest choreographers for this showcase.
“We are a broad range of people who were brought together by a love of dance,” said junior Brenna DeStefano, a Dance Ensemble member.
The dancers of Sacred Heart’s Dance Program are diverse in terms of hometown, major and background, but unified by their passion for dancing.
“The highlight of the show is being able to see everyone’s passion in all the different forms of dance,” said DeStefano.
Students in the program said what the audience should expect to feel when they see the show.
“The audience can expect to feel a heartwarming, powerful, spiritual connection to each of the pieces as they all contain various aspects of the powerful emotions that the holiday season may spark within an individual,” said junior Rosalita Cormier, one of the Dance Program’s member.
Due to the many performances that the dance ensembles put on during the year, the majority of their time is spent rehearsing. For many dancers, rehearsals provide a distraction from the daily stresses of school and their personal lives.
“Every time I walk into the fish bowl or the UC to attend class, my everyday nerves calm down and I know I am in a place that I can be myself, let free and do what I love to do, dance, with people that care about me,” said Cormier. “While we are performing on stage, the love and care we have for one another is evident.”
The love and bond within the Dance Program is not only felt among the student dancers, but the directors as well.
“I admire each and every person involved, not only for their talent but also for helping to create the nurturing, collaborative environment that we strive to cultivate within our dance community at SHU,” said Williams.
There will be two performances of the Winter Lights show: Friday, Dec. 2 at 7 p.m. and Saturday Dec. 3 at 1 p.m. Both performances are free for Sacred Heart Students. Tickets are available for guests, faculty and staff at edgertoncenter.org
“Come out and see this show, you will leave feeling inspired,” said Williams.